Can we find adoption in the Christmas story?
At first glance, that seems like a stretch. But then again, if we pause long enough and dig deep enough, we might just find it there. After all, didn’t Jesus come to heal the hurting? To restore the broken? To seek and save the lost? (Luke 4:8; Luke 19:10) Surely if we look closely we can find messages of hope for the adopted, and the adopters.
The Christmas story actually is an adoption story—played out in reverse. You see, God the father made an adoption plan for Jesus. But instead of sending His son to a better life, He surrendered Him to a horrible one. Even to hell itself.
(Note to mom: when your home feels like hell …
1. God is present even there.
2. Hell has nothing on Jesus.)
God sent His only son from Heaven’s halls to a humble stall.
From the head of a kingdom overflowing with resplendent riches, to a dependent babe, swaddled into miserly humanity.
From the joy of divine love and complete acceptance, to undeserved judgment and excruciating rejection.
From the freshness of purity, to an atmosphere saturated with utter wretchedness.
Being God, He knew full well where He was sending His only begotten son. What kind of plan was this? Scandalous! But we know. Don’t we?
Sometimes we feel God’s plan for our adoptive family has also turned scandalous. We stand aghast at His audacity. We find ourselves suffocating in wretchedness, crushed by false accusations, shredded (as a dear friend recently said) by rejection.
But is it not possible, that God planned this placement to save US in some way?
Don’t hear me say our children are the Savior of the world. It’s no doubt that they have suffered a brokenness that leaks (sometimes spews) acidic fire. But I’m here to tell you, even in this God has a plan.
He has our own wounds to heal. Our own gaps to fill. Our own weaknesses to strengthen. And He plans to use this experience to reach parts of our souls He could not otherwise reach.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)
Oh that we receive His gift—found in the midst of hay stubble and manure—that can change our lives forever.
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